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Publisher's Summary

This powerful and breathtaking novel is the story of four cadets who have become bloodbrothers. Together they will encounter the hell of hazing and the rabid, raunchy, and dangerously secretive atmosphere of an arrogant and proud military institute. They will experience the violence. The passion. The rage. The friendship. The loyalty. The betrayal. Together, they will brace themselves for the brutal transition to manhood... and one will not survive.

With all the dramatic brilliance he brought to The Great Santini, Pat Conroy sweeps you into the turbulent world of these four friends - and draws you deep into the heart of his rebellious hero, Will McLean, an outsider forging his personal code of honor, who falls in love with a whimsical beauty... and who undergoes a transition more remarkable then he ever imagined possible.

©2002 Pat Conroy (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Reading Pat Conroy is like watching Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel." ( Houston Chronicle)
The Lords of Discipline is, simply, an American classic." (Larry King)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,257
  • 4 Stars
    408
  • 3 Stars
    133
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    26

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,096
  • 4 Stars
    265
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    15

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,033
  • 4 Stars
    277
  • 3 Stars
    108
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    22
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Extraordinary!

Somehow I missed this in my reading of Pat Conroy's books in years past, and somehow I missed the BEST of all of his works. This is a fabulous story written elegantly, passionately and so beautifully that it makes me realize the failings of other authors whose works I have previously thought were entertaining. I now feel that entertainment is not enough!! I am IN LOVE with this book and with Pat Conroy's talent and skillful artistry. THANK YOU, Pat, from the bottom of my heart, for all you and your compatriots endured to deliver this masterpiece to the world. I also want to thank the narrator for his unique ability to provide the emotional context that gives realism, heart and soul to this true nightmare.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Pat Conroy's characters

One of the things I like about Pat Conroy's story telling is you fall in love with his characters - even if you don't like them. When the story is over, you feel an emptyness, a longing to have them back in your life again. My favorite Conroy book in that respect is Prince of Tides (the book, not the movie). I couldn't stop listening even when I was so tired I should have been asleep. Lords of Discipline is the same - a compelling tale, especially when you realize that at least parts of it are autobiographical. I went to university at UC Berkeley during the same time frame that the Lords were attending "The Institute" - an amazing contrast in life choices.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book superb narrator

This is a new favorite. I will listen to it over and over again. An amazing coming of age story about the bonds between boys growing into men. I couldn't stop listening for a moment. It can be cruel, sometimes a little crass and vulgar, as college boys (military academy or not) are wont to be, but that is secondary and only serves to make it more authentic. It is about the building of character, facing hardship and overcoming it, its about the struggle for integrity. l fell in love with the characters. The story line moves along quickly, there are no wasted moments. It is alternately funny and heartbreaking. I couldn't wait to clean the house so I could hear what happens next.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book, excellent narration

I love Pat Conroy, really enjoyed The Great Santini and read the Prince of Tides years ago, but I think I liked this better than both of them. The story is captivating. It will make you laugh as all Conroy's books do with his witty dialogue, but it will also break your heart. The reader is excellent, one of the best I have listened to.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • Germantown, TN, United States
  • 10-12-10

Well written, superb narration

I can recommend this book based on both its literary content and the excellent narration. From a literary standpoint, Conroy's ability to set the hook of his reader is owed to strong character development and an unbroken story line that does not allow the reader to quit until all is finished. The story is an open vivisection of the ritualistic and brutal plebe system at an iconic Southern military institute which, although not specifically identified as such, is based on Conroy's own experience as a cadet at the Citadel. As for the narration, Dan John Miller made each character believable and unique, whether male or female. I'll look for other books narrated by him....

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CharByte
  • Park Ridge, IL United States
  • 03-13-11

An Excellent Read

The narration made this listen perfect. I could not stop listening. Excellent story I found myself wondering of all the pledging that goes on even today and wonder of the point of it all. I felt I was taken into the walls of the Institute and think I fell in love with Will and all that he stood for. Wonderful Charleston descriptions. For me this is what audible books is about.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

ALMOST out of the park

Pat Conroy, one of the finest authors of our generation, has written an unforgettable narrative of endurance, agony, and achievement of manhood. Other reviewers have already stated the strengths of the work.

I will dissent from most of the others in one category: the narrator develops fabulous and fitting voices for each of the characters, but oh, how his frequent mispronunciations grated on me. Not to be able to pronounce words such as implacable, impudent, mahogany, stolid, indefatigable and others seems inexcusable in a narrator. Except for that one factor, this audiobook would have had a solid 5 stars.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Neil
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 10-22-10

Excellent

Interesting and moving from beginning to end -- the end in particular is one of the most captivating that I've heard on audible. I was unable to turn the last two hours off! Excellent narration, particularly good performance characterizing "The Bear." Worth your credit absolutely.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An amazing book

Pat Conroy is simply one of the greatest storytellers I have ever listened to. He is able to make you feel every emotion his characters are feeling. You celebrate their victories, mourn their losses and miss them when the book is complete.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kim
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 07-22-12

I'm feeling ambiguous

I'm on the fence with this one - the writing is good and the narration is great - so why wasn't I able to just give it 4 stars all the way across? Maybe it's because this is supposed to be auto-biographical and I had a really hard time buying the author's portrayal of the events. It all seemed so overly romantic and watered-down. I did enjoy 90% of the book, and found myself looking forward to listening - but if the end had come sooner, I wouldn't have been disappointed.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful